The Doctor’s leap. Transferrable skills and the value of a PhD outside Academia

  • Date January 25, 2017
  • Hour 6 pm
  • Room GSSI Main Lecture Hall
  • Speaker Eva Ratti (Find your Doctor, Consorzio per il Trasferimento Tecnologico - C2T)
  • Area Social Sciences


The talk is aimed to inform about the “Find your Doctor” initiative, dedicated to the job-placement and valorisation of PhDs, while stimulating reflection on the skills that are acquired during the Doctorate path in parallel with technical and scientific knowledge.

In a time when perspective of a long term career in academia are slim for the majority of PhD graduates, the very experience of the Doctorate is often questioned in its meaning and worthiness, by institutions and by the students themselves. This is partly caused by actual cultural barriers that PhDs face when communicating their background, partly on assumptions on their perspectives outside the Academia that are not entirely supported by existing statistical data.

With an eye on available statistics for the category, in Italy and Europe, we will consider possible reasons for the fact that PhDs still seem to have an advantage in term of employability compared to other graduates, in every country where we could find the data and despite the crisis. We believe this advantage is rooted in the transversal skills that are stimulated by a research training, extremely valuable in non-academic contexts as well and applicable to many problems different than pure research. We will expand on the topic of transversal skills and conclude with a reasoning on the difficulties that are involved in the job transition outside Academia. We will present what Find your Doctor is doing to overcome those and what each student can do for himself, by being aware of the learning levels implicit in their training path.